Vatican City, Apr 15, 2011 / 11:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth sent two presents to Pope Benedict XVI on April 15. Her first gift was a telegram containing best wishes for the pontiff’s 84th birthday tomorrow, and the second was a new U.K. ambassador to the Holy See.
Nigel Baker is the man chosen as Her Majesty’s latest representative to the Vatican. According to The Telegraph newspaper, 44-year-old Baker worked briefly at the British Conservative Party’s headquarters in the late 1980s. Interestingly, one of his co-workers there is the now British Prime Minister, David Cameron. Since joining the U.K. Foreign Office in 1989, Baker has held postings in Prague, Havana and most recently Bolivia, where he was ambassador. He also spent three years as Private Secretary to Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales.
The U.K. Foreign Office says Baker knows Italy well, having spent an academic sabbatical in Verona and Naples between 1996 and 1998. While he isn’t a Catholic, his Slovakian wife, Sasha, is. They have one son.
Upon his appointment Baker said, “I am delighted and honoured to be taking up this posting. The last few years have seen the development of a strong and fruitful global partnership between the United Kingdom and the Holy See. The historic visit of Pope Benedict XVI in September 2010 reinforced that relationship and opened new avenues for bilateral and multilateral collaboration.”